Comics Load: There’s an App for That

Usually, Brian and I read completely different comics for the Comics Load, with only occasional crossover. This week, for some reason, we read almost all the same titles. I know what you’re thinking: “Um…shouldn’t more thought and planning go into this weekly endeavor?” No! What’s the fun in that? So, sit back, relax and enjoy us tag-teaming the same comics titles this week!

image Brightest Day #18
So poor Hawkman and Hawkgirl (or is it Hawkwoman now?) are finally about to get all horizontal and do some much needed bumping and grinding when Deadman just pops up and invades their sex-den with his bossy White Lantern ring barking orders at the horny duo. That White Lantern ring is such a cockblocker! I was getting all turned on, too, and was eagerly looking forward to some raunchy floor Hawkpeople sex. Damn you, purity lantern! Does anything good ever come from being pure? Look at the Hawks; they end up being two itty bitty piles of ash, just because they wanted to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh. Screw you, White Lantern and your goodie goodness. –Brian
image Buffy the Vampire Slayer #40
Boy, am I glad this long, overdone Season 8 is OH-VER! It’s been a long, often annoying, often rambling, often over-the-top (Having hardcore sex to create a new universe? If only I had a nickel for every time I’ve had to do that!) series that truly tested my devotion to the character. Strangely enough, it’s this final issue that finally felt the most authentic, the most “Buffy” to me than anything in the last 39 issues. The issue helped to reignite my faded fan feelings towards our little Slayer. So, good riddance and %$*# off Season 8; I cautiously raise a welcoming glass towards the upcoming Season 9—please don’t suck! –Brian

In a special message at the end of this issue, Joss Whedon promises that Season 9 will head “back, a bit, to the everyday trials that made Buffy more than a superhero.” My problem with Season 8 wasn’t that its epic scope moved beyond the everyday trials that made Buffy more than a superhero. My problem with Season 8 was its confusing plot line, plus all the leaps in logic. I liked the epic scope and casting Buffy as the leader of a slayer army. I’m less excited about the idea of her being a plucky waitress in a coffee shop, just trying to balance her destiny, family responsibilities and love life in the modern world. Bleah. There are some funny moments in this issue, especially with Dawn. And I was somewhat moved by Faith’s confession that there’s really only one slayer, and everyone knows it. Those are the moments that make Buffy great. And there were plenty of them in Season 8. The scope and maturity of the Buffyverse should mirror the maturity of the characters. They’re not kids anymore. I’d hate to see Season 9 turn into Friends or, worse, How I Met Your Mother. (Sorry, Will.) –Chance

image Supergirl #60
Wow. What a taut, intriguing, thoroughly well-written issue of Supergirl. Yeah, you read that right. Supergirl! It’s so good that I found myself devouring each page, completely wrapped up in the book. True, I had no idea what was going on—three divergent storylines run throughout the book simultaneously—but that didn’t deter me from absolutely loving the story. From what I walked away with, there’s some entitled college-ish creepy dude who created an app called “Flyover” that allows an everyday non-superpowered citizen to tag and post when and where they stumble across superheroes. I guess Mr. Creepy College Dude is going to use the tagging aspect of the app to kill superheroes, namely, our beloved Girl of Steel. Hey, I guess there really is an app for everything. My only fear is that writer Nick Spencer—a ridiculously talented writer who is far too smart and amazing for his own good—is leaving the book. Hopefully, the co-writer on this issue and new head writer James Peaty can continue to bring the story thunder. Also, I’m loving the art by Bernard Chang, despite the fact that I still hate Supergirl’s short, awful, soccer mom cut. –Brian

I like this issue, too. There’s a lot going on here, and it’s all rich with detail and possibility. For instance, I love that the Harvard kids are having conversations with each other, while also clutching and interacting with their phones. I love that they’re tapping into the creepiness/danger of location check-in apps. And I love that Lois is dressed more appropriately for her age and occupation than she was in Superman last week. I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes. –Chance

image Thor #619
I’ve never liked Odin. In fact, I think he’s a total schmuck. Or, as Thor calls him, “You horrible, unlovable old man.” However, he does make a couple of very valid points in this issue. When Thor starts lecturing him for going off on Loki, as if Ward had just scolded the Beaver, Odin loses it. He tells Thor, “You had it all! You won, Thor—you had everything! Everything I ever wanted and could never have—you had it! And best of all! No me—no Loki—free of lies and eons of suffering…but you couldn’t stand the quiet. Could you?” Well, I couldn’t have said it better myself. In fact, I did say it a couple of months ago when Thor got bored and decided he’d go dig up Loki, the guy who caused the destruction of Asgard. But maybe Odin is on to something here. Why? Why does Thor keep bringing back the people who make his life miserable? What is he hoping for? Loki never changes. Odin never changes. It’s totally pathological at this point; his yearning for a father and brother who only exist to make him miserable. Yet, he keeps trying, as if maybe the 1,000th time is going to be different. What a little bitch. –Chance
image Wolverine and Jubilee #1
First off, did anyone notice the semi-bone Wolverine is sporting on the cover? I swear he’s mid-chubby. Do teenage girls who are also vampires turn him on that much? Everyone’s got their fetish, I guess. (What a hairy perv!) Second, this was a pretty decent read. As much as I have enjoyed the writing by Kathryn Immonen in the past (the Hellcat mini-series; that Pixie mini), she often wrote confusing dialogue that was too rich with witty wordplay, exploring droll statements on language and syntax that often didn’t work too well in the context of the comic book. Here, Immonen has found a straightforward voice that tells a clear, smart, interesting story without losing me halfway through. So, brava! I also have something of a soft spot for old Jubes, and I’m glad they’ve found a way to bring her back to the X-fold without making her a powered-down, teenage version of the more fabulous Dazzler. ‘Cause we all know there can only be ONE Dazzler. Can I get a “what, what?” –Brian

Brian definitely has the upper hand on this one, because I know little or nothing about Jubilee and her history. However, I do know that I’ve had just about enough of stories about vampires trying to fight their nature and forge a new identity. Seriously, I don’t think I can take another vampire story. Having said that, I did enjoy Immonen’s script here, which manages to achieve something very elusive in comics nowadays; it’s surprisingly underwritten. The exposition is there, but only enough for the reader to get by. Ultimately, it leaves you wanting more, and isn’t that the point? Plus, I loved the scene where Wolverine shocks Emma Frost herself by asking what’s she’s been up to with the horses. And I do like Wolverine’s bulge on the cover, but I like this more. Logan is also looking very Hugh Jackman in most of this issue. I’m not complaining, mind you, just pointing it out. –Chance

image X-Factor #214
Man, I hate Westerns. I haven’t even seen True Grit yet, and I make a point of seeing all award season movies. Also, it doesn’t help that this issue stars the most boring character of X-Factor: Darwin. Ugh, I can give two %$#&s about Darwin, his death stare or the fact that he’s going all John Wayne on our asses on the cover. But wouldn’t you know it? That damn Peter David wrote a story so surprisingly interesting and griping that I actually *gulp* enjoyed it. A lot. I even didn’t mind that there was an actual saloon girl in the story—though I did like the fact that she turned out to be the very embodiment of the “Whore of Babylon.” And here I thought that position was claimed by Madonna decades ago (or was it centuries?). I also rather geeked out on the possible glimpse of what Wolvesbane’s kid might look like/turn out (he’s a dick!). So even though this issue takes place in a stupid Western town and stars (barf) Darwin, I liked it. Guess I have to go see True Grit now. –Brian